Lessons of Empire: Viewers were Ready for a Show that was Just Fun

Norman Weiss

Lessons of Empire: Viewers were ready for a show that was just fun
The genius of the Fox drama is that it reinvents the Big Spectacle serials of the '80s without looking like some cheap clone from another era, says Josef Adalian. "While much has (rightly) been written about the role of race in Empire's rise," he says, "not nearly enough attention has been paid to another key factor: It's a fully realized, brilliantly executed soap opera — arguably the best to hit prime time since 'Desperate Housewives' and the most over-the-top since the days of Dallas and 'Dynasty.' Scripted soaps targeted at broad swaths of viewers were once prime-time staples, but they've been in short supply of late." PLUS: Charting Empire's rise, What makes Empire so addictive?, a prayer for Cookie Lyon, co-creator Danny Strong says: "Attacking homophobia was in my original pitch" to Lee Daniels, just give Taraji P. Henson the Emmy already, how Fox can keep Empire's momentum going during the off-season, Fox execs used emojis in texting each other in celebration each week, 6 reasons for the show's success, "Empire filmed 10 of 12 episodes by the January premiere, Henson is "having a moment," and Jussie Smollett recalls realizing he's now famous.

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